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5 Oct 2018

Somerset County Council’s road safety team is supporting Highways England’s new road safety campaign by asking drivers in the county not to be a space invader.

The ‘Don’t be a Space Invader’ campaign highlights the dangers associated with tailgating, the act of driving too close to the vehicle in front, a practice that could leave you with less time to react or stop safely should an emergency occur.

Research by Highways England has found that tailgating is a factor in 1 in 8 casualties on the strategic road network (motorways and trunk roads) and almost 90% of drivers say they have either experienced or witnessed tailgating.

Advice from the road safety team is to keep a minimum 2 second gap between your vehicle and the one in front and that this distance should be doubled if the roads are wet and multiplied by a factor of ten in ice and snow.

You can easily check that you’re abiding by the ‘2 second rule’ by waiting until the rear of the vehicle in front has passed a fixed object on the roadside, for example a road sign, and then saying the phrase “only a fool breaks the two second rule”, if your vehicle passes the chosen fixed object before you finish saying the phrase then you’re too close to the vehicle in front.

If you experience tailgating follow these simple tips to help ensure you stay safe:

Do not react to the tailgater by either speeding up or slowing down – continue driving as you would normally.
Don’t stare at the driver in the rear view mirror as this will distract you from the road ahead.
If you’re able to let the tailgating vehicle overtake then do so.
Signal early. If you’re being tailgating it’s advisable to signal your intentions to manoeuvre early as the tailgater has put themselves in to a position where they may not be able to react in time.
Stay calm and do not let the presence of a tailgater interfere with your driving.

To find out more about the Space Invader campaign visit:


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